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California’s ‘Apple Fire’ explodes in size as fire crews battle to contain the blaze

Evacuation orders remained in place early on Monday for thousands of people after a wildfire in mountains east of Los Angeles exploded in size and forced crews to battle flames in triple-digit heat.

The Apple Fire in Riverside County consumed more than 31 square miles of dry brush and timber, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

As of Monday morning, it was five per cent contained. The cause was under investigation.

The blaze began on Friday as two adjacent fires in Cherry Valley, an unincorporated area near the city of Beaumont about 85 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

Flames leapt along brushy ridge tops and came close to homes while firefighters attacked it from the ground and air.

One home and two outbuildings were destroyed, authorities said. No injuries were reported.

Evacuation orders and advisories were issued for about 8,000 people in mountain, canyon and foothill neighbourhoods.

A huge smoke plume was visible for miles around and contributed to poor air quality.

The mercury hit 43 degrees celsius on Sunday in nearby Palm Springs. The National Weather Service said “dangerously hot conditions” were expected to continue because of high pressure over much of Southern California.

Read more on this story here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/usa/?WT.mc_id=tmg_youtube_offsite_televideo-youtubevideo_August3Californiawildfire&utm_source=tmgoff&utm_medium=tmg_youtube&utm_content=offsite_televideo&utm_campaign=tmg_youtube_offsite_televideo-youtubevideo_August3Californiawildfire

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